People detained in police custody in Dorset can be assured that their rights will be upheld.
The county has been recognised nationally for the exceptional quality of its Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.
The Scheme which is overseen by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner sees trained volunteers from the local community, known as Independent Custody Visitors or ICVs, make regular unannounced visits to police custody suites to check on the entitlements, well-being and dignity of the detainees held there. Their findings are reported to the police and crime commissioner who holds the chief constable to account.
The Dorset Scheme was presented with a gold Quality Assurance Award by ICVA on Wednesday 29 November.
Dorset police and crime commissioner, David Sidwick said: “I would like to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication. Independent Custody Visiting plays a vital role in holding the Force to account and ensuring all receive fair treatment from the police.”
Dame Anne Owers, chairperson of ICVA, said: “Independent Custody Visiting Schemes ensure that the public have oversight of a high pressure and often hidden area of policing. These awards demonstrate how local schemes use volunteer feedback to make change and ensure that police custody is safe and dignified for all.”
Sherry Ralph, chief executive at ICVA, said: “The Quality Assurance Framework represents a significant amount of additional work to ensure that Independent Custody Visiting is regularly reviewed, improvements are made where they are needed, and excellent practice is shared. I congratulate Schemes on their accomplishments and thank them for their commitment.”
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